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HSG
5th October 2005, 05:13
<br>Although plus-size models do sometimes appear on the catwalk in regional runway events, or at various department-store presentations, only in a few cases have fashion shows featuring plus-size models achieved national or international exposure.

And with one notable exception--i.e., the last of the Lane Bryant lingerie shows, in 2003--most of these shows have been quite disappointing, and can be considered missed opportunities, for one simple reason:

The models were not visibly full-figured.

The use of faux-plus models on the catwalk simply means that the organizers of such events have lost sight of the actual purpose of a <i>plus-size</i> runway show.

After all, if promoting apparel were the only concern, then a retailer could simply put tight clothing on regular runway waifs, and the thin-centric media would still applaud the retailer for using supposedly "curvy" models. In fitted clothing, <i>any</i> model can be called "curvy" by comparison to a corpse-like size 0, no matter how far from plus that model actually is.

But the purpose of a plus-size runway show is not to impress the media (who would collectively faint and require smelling salts, if they caught a glimpse of a model above a size 12).

Rather, it is to connect with the public--with existing customers, and with those individuals who <i>could</i> be customers, if they could be persuaded to view their size as <i>beautiful,</i> rather than "too plus."

Ultimately, full-figured models on the runway are promoting something much more significant (both to plus-size retailers, and to society in general) than clothing. They are promoting the <i>idea</i> that a genuinely womanly figure (size 14+) can be beautiful.<p><center>* * *</center><p>And now, thanks to our friend and ally D. Trull, we are pleased to be able to share with you one more example of a runway show that actually <i>got it right,</i> a show that used models who were <i>truly full-figured, <strong>and</strong> truly gorgeous.</i>

And can you guess which entity produced this show?

That's right: none other than that <i>perfect</i> publication, that one notable periodical which, for three years, could simply do no wrong in celebrating women of size:

<i>Mode</i> magazine.

And if the very thought of a "<i>Mode</i> fashion show" gets you excited, just wait until you see the video of the show itself (linked below).

In addition to seeing many famous <i>Mode</i> alumni, you will finally be able to watch Barbara Brickner prowl the catwalk. And just as her many fans always expected, Barbara is every bit as much a goddess on the runway as she is on the printed page:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/video/mode/cap022.jpg"></center><p>True, some of the clothing in this distinctly "pre-New-Femininity" show is rather dull--but that only demonstrates how far fashion in general, and plus-size fashion specifically, has come, over the past five years.

No, the reason for watching <i>this</i> show is also the primary raison d'etre for <i>any</i> plus-size catwalk event: i.e., to prove that the fuller female figure truly belongs on the runway, and can outshine any waif, in any attire:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/video/mode/cap019.jpg"></center><p>But in addition to several glimpses of Mrs. Brickner, the show also features the following extraordinary model, who rivals Barbara herself in feminine attractions:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/video/mode/cap001.jpg"></center><p>Who is she? Does anyone know? Her soft facial features are utterly breathtaking. One reader commented that she reminded her of Liis, but no one can remember Liis ever looking quite so womanly:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/video/mode/cap024.jpg"></center><p>Whoever this goddess may be, both she, and Barbara, and the other stars of the show amply demonstrate just how well such "luscious" models (as <i>Mode</i> lovingly called them) can show off any manner of attire.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/video/mode/cap003.jpg"></center><p>However, as an intellectual exercise, just imagine how these models would look if they were showcasing attire that was truly fit for goddesses, such as the following Versace dress, from last week's Milan show:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/video/mode/versace_dress.jpg"></center><p>Perhaps someday soon, they will be.

In the meantime, it is impossible to overstate the fact that when it comes to runways shows, the need for genuinely and visibly full-figured models is just a pronounced as it is in print promotions--perhaps moreso.

Otherwise, the whole exercise is for naught, and society will never rediscover its appreciation of the timeless ideal of plus-size beauty.<p>- <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcnJJ7VhTYs" target="_blank">Click here to view the <i>Mode</i> fashion show</a>

Kaitlynn
5th October 2005, 15:56
Those models are simply breathtaking. Both Barbara and that "mystery model" are a revelation. And no matter how boring the clothing is, they make it beautiful, just because they have shapely figures, and can really project attitude and poise.

You don't even need to go so far as Versace to find examples of better plus clothing. If you look at Macy's online, they have a lot of great feminine items in their plus-size section, including some XOXO stuff, but it's so disappointing because 90% of the model's aren't plus at all. And the clothing is so obviously made with truly womanly figures in mind.

Plus-size fashion is infinitely more gorgeous today than it once was. If only it was presented on models like those in this Mode runway show, it would look ten times as appealing.

M. Lopez
5th October 2005, 23:53
What a thrilling video to watch. Judging by the Mode covers that were shown, it would seem that it was produced somewhere around April 1999 - when Mode was still at its aesthetic peak, and using true plus-size goddesses.

The reference to Barbara Brickner "prowling the catwalk" is so apt. She is such a kind and good person, based on everything I've ever read about her, but I love the fact that when she adopts her modeling guise, she looks so alluring and feline - even in a simple dress.

You know, there are channels on TV for everything under the sun. I wish there could be a "Mode channel," devoted exclusively to content promoting size celebration.

Until then, I'm glad we have WJOP. {kidding}

MelanieW
7th October 2005, 16:55
I am overwhelmed by the beauty of both Barbara, and that unknown model. Who IS she - and why wasnt she in Mode magazine, as far as I remember? And why isnt she in ads and magazines today? Shes gorgeous. Her face is very much like Liis, but the figure is more curvaceous. She is as perfect an example of the beauty of the plus look as Shannon Marie.

I definitely agree that the models must be visibly plus, or a full-figure runway show is completely meaningless. Its the same as it is for magazines. Mode was loved because its models were unmistakably curvy. Grace was resented, because its models were not.

And I cant even begin to imagine how beautiful these models would look if, instead of these conservative outfits, they had a dress like the one Crystal Renn wore at the Gaultier show.